Omaha Reigns Supreme: Kings Conquer Colorado in MLIS Season Opener
[Denver, Colorado - December 16, 2023]
The Omaha Kings FC officially kicked off their second MLIS season with a thrilling match against the newly minted Colorado Bucks, at the Foothills Fieldhouse in Denver, Colorado. The Kings have been eager to start the season, ready to build on their success from last year.
First Quarter: Kings Dominate Early
The Kings wasted no time asserting their dominance, with last year's league MVP, Manuel Lira, scoring two quick goals around 4 minutes in, swiftly followed by another goal from Pedro Tostes. Gabi Gaiotto had a huge night, starting it off by adding two more goals to the scoreboard that put the Kings ahead 5-0. Tomas Tapia managed to pull one back for the Bucks, ending the quarter with a score of 1-5 in favor of the Kings.
Second Quarter: Bucks Respond but Kings Maintain Control
Gaiotto extended the Kings' lead with a goal early in the second quarter, assisted by Morgan Penn. Penn, along with some noteworthy saves from goalkeeper Louis Floersch, showcased the Kings' defensive prowess throughout the quarter. Miguel Avilas managed to score for the Bucks, but Colorado struggled to catch up before the half was over. Second quarter ended with a score of 6-2, still in favor of the Kings.
Third Quarter Intensity: Gaiotto's Brilliance and Blue Card Drama
The third quarter unfolded with a Bucks resurgence as Mario Leon and Alan Roque found the back of the net. However, Gaiotto responded with his fourth goal of the evening, maintaining the Kings' lead.
The dynamic shifted and drama ensued with blue cards issued to Colorado players Bryan Vazquez and Nasr Ali Abid, resulting in each serving the 2-minute penalties. Matu Chol of the Kings also received a blue card for holding, adding to the increasingly tense environment of the second half.
The Kings managed to hold on to their 7-4 lead, but the Bucks were determined to capitalize on a score that had just come within reach. The quarter's events set the stage for a nail biting final stretch in the fourth quarter.
Fourth Quarter: Tension Peaks with Blue Cards and Controversy
The final quarter heated up with goals from both sides. Attempting a comeback, Tapia scored for the Bucks, but a contentious blue card on the Kings stirred some controversy. Colorado was able to capitalize on the power play with a goal by Thompson, but it would be goals from Gaiotto and Lira that would end up securing the victory for the Kings. The match concluded with a final score of 6-9 (Kings).
Player Highlights and Notable Events
Goalkeeper Louis Floersch played a great first-half, facing 13 shots, allowing 2 goals, and making 11 saves.
In the second half, Goalkeeper Efren Flores took the field, facing 11 shots, conceding 4 goals, and securing 7 crucial saves.
Player assists included 2 from Daniel Zuckweiler, while David Panter, Leonides Mejia, Morgan Penn, and Gabi Gaiotto each contributed 1.
Coaching staff included Head Coach, Emmanuel Viel, Assistant Coach, Carlos Viel, and Goalkeeper Coach, William Dollen. The coaching staff’s expertise and leadership continue to shape the Kings into a formidable force within the MLIS.
As the Omaha Kings start their season on a high note, the excitement will continue throughout the holidays as the Kings host 3 home games over the next two weekends. Their home opener will take place this upcoming weekend at Off The Wall Indoor Soccer Facility, on December 23rd, 2023, at 11am CT. They’ll be facing some familiar rivals, the Chicago Mustangs, in what promises to be another thrilling match. Stay tuned for real-time updates and exclusive content by following the Kings on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Keep an eye out for announcements regarding ticket sales, and be sure to join the Kings' community in supporting their quest for victory in the MLIS.